Table of Contents
- Best Table Saw Miter Gauge Reviews 2019
- Best Table Saw Miter Gauge Buying Guide 2019
Best Table Saw Miter Gauge Reviews 2019
While plenty of table saws come with their own miter gauge, these are usually a bit limited in terms of their scope. To alleviate this, many craftsmen turn to an aftermarket miter gauge to provide a wealth of options and precision that their onboard miter gauge cannot accommodate. That is why we have put together a list of the 5 best table saw miter gauge reviews with a helpful buyer’s guide and FAQ. Incra completely stole the show, though the Kreg actually offers some unique features and unparalleled precision.
INCRA Miter1000/HD Miter Gauge – Best Seller
Though Incra may not have a history as old as some of the more established power tool manufacturers, it is still one of the most respected brands within the measurement tool market. Part of this is likely due to the fact that the founder was a woodworker and the company continues to focus exclusively on various accessories and measurement tools used in that endeavors. Of course, if you are looking for a miter gauge that can handle the most professional of tasks, it only makes sense that you would turn to the market’s best seller.
Accuracy and Precision
One thing to consider when getting a miter gauge is whether the product is both accurate and precise. Every manufacturer sells their miter gauge on accuracy, but not all of them can truthfully sell themselves on precision too. For accuracy, the Incra Miter 1000 has a finely machine ground components with laser cut detents. On the precision end of the spectrum, the Incra Miter 1000 provides 180 stops with 1-degree stops and a single 22 ½-degree positive stop. Thankfully, the Minra Miter 1000 is able to ensure their single degree stops are secure with their patented Glide LOCK system. It is worth noting that even without the bar, the Incra Miter1000 is one of the heavier table saw miter gauges we reviewed and that only increases when you include the fence.
While the Incra Miter 1000 may be the best seller, it also happens to be the most expensive miter gauge on our list too. However, Incra made sure to extend the versatility of their product by making it usable for a wide range of applications. For instance, the Flip Shop Stop system allows the provided fence to work with nearly any table saw on the market. On top of that, the fence itself features a length range of 18” to 31” while also coming with a 1/10th-degree Vernier courser to allow for accuracy and precision on cuts with larger workpieces. That said, this is definitely one of the more complicated miter gauges on our list, though it is only due to its versatility and performance.
- Has a patented Glide LOCK
- The components are laser cut
- Has a Flip Shop Stop
- Comes with a fence
- Has a removable retaining clip
- Has 180 1-degree stops
- Is the most expensive miter gauge reviewed
- Is not as easy to use
Kreg KMS7102 Table Saw Precision Miter Gauge System – Top Pick
Much like another big name in the precision measurement tool industry, Kreg got its start in the mid to late-1980s. Much like other reputable makers of precision measurement tools, Kreg specializes exclusively on woodworking tools and accessories, though the founder was a metalworker by trade. Regardless, Kreg offers everything that any best seller could plus a little bit more so long as you know how to work it. Regardless, the slightly smaller price combined with nearly the same suite of features is why we rated this our top pick.
It is important to note that accuracy refers to how true the reading is to the result and precision refers to how exact a result you can produce. As such, the precision of a miter gauge refers to how exact it can be, and with the ability to provide measurements to within 1/100th of a degree, no product on our list is more precise than the Kreg table saw miter gauge. It is worth noting that using the 1/100th adjustment can be a bit tricky, especially since the provided nylon screws are generally not strong enough. However, if you purchase some steel-tipped nylon screw replacements, you should not have to worry. Regardless, the Kreg miter gauge features ambidextrous positive miter stops at 10, 22 ½, 30, and 45-degrees.
Though not quite at the level of the best seller, the Kreg miter gauge still offers one of the better builds that we saw. First, this miter gauge is made of anodized aluminum which further increases the aluminum’s natural resistance to moisture and corrosion. On top of that, this is one of a couple of miter gauges we reviewed which comes with its own high-quality fence. The fence is 24” and features 5 bar adjusters to keep the fence locked firmly in place while you cut. A big part of this has to do with the fact that Kreg’s components are finely machined and includes a precision lens courser for the most accurate results. In fact, Kreg guarantees out of the box accuracy of up to 0.003 out to 6”, though this will definitely depend on the fastening hardware used.
- Comes with a fence
- Components are CNC machined
- Has 4 different positive stops
- Is made of anodized aluminum
- Has a precision lens courser
- Has 1/100th degree adjustments
- Is a more expensive miter gauge
- Is not as easy to use
Incra MITERV27 Miter V27 Miter Gauge – Best Value
From this point on, every product on the list can provide you value in the right situation, but all of them have flaws that belie their price. In our opinion, the Incra MiterV27 is the best budget table saw miter gauge that has a frustrating flaw that can be worked around. This is not the least expensive miter gauge that we reviewed, but it does not have any major problems with general or specific durability. On top of that, the MiterV27 keeps in line with many of the same features that make the company’s flagship product so popular. In this case, the miter saw takes a hit in terms of versatility and linear accuracy.
While the Incra MiterV27 is not necessarily the most impressive miter gauge on our list, it does still offer a solid list of features to help the beginner get started. For instance, this table saw miter gauge features 36 positive stops with 5-degrees of separation as well as particularly common miter stops that fall on ½-degrees. The ability to identify the proper miter degree as well as setting the angle is a snap with Incra’s patented AngleLock indexing system which is both easy to use as well as easy to read. Finally, the Incra MiterV27 table saw miter gauge is also one of the more compact and portable miter gauges we came across.
While the MiterV27 provides a number of solid features and a decent design for beginners, it is not without some legitimate flaws. First and foremost among them is the fact that the Incra MiterV27 miter gauge is not that accurate. Thankfully, the inaccuracy is consistent so you only need to account for a single-degree, but this can become tiresome after making the adjustment for every cut you make. Another problem with the MiterV27 table saw miter gauge is the fact that the t-slot is not a universal fit for all table saws due to the width of the t-bar. On the other hand, the Incra MiterV27 does at least come with a universal mounting bracket for any extra fence you have.
- Is a less expensive miter gauge
- Is easier to use
- Is a more compact miter gauge
- Has a universal mounting bracket
- Has 36 5-degree stops
- Has AngleLOCK Indexing System
- Is not universal
- Is not the most accurate
INCRA MiterV120 Miter Gauge – Runner Up
Once we get to the runner up category, all miter gauges have some major flaws that will make using the miter gauge more difficult. That said, the Incra MiterV120 table saw miter gauge edges the last place out by being a bit more durable, so long as you are extra careful while using it. In fact, the Incra MiterV120 miter gauge could easily make it to the top of our list with just a couple of changes thanks to one of the better arrays of features on a miter gauge. However, until the Incra MiterV120 does something about its teeth and the issues they can have and cause, the product will remain merely a runner up.
From a pure specs perspective, it would seem as if the Incra MiterV120 should be higher up on our list. For one, it is one of the most precise miter gauges that we reviewed with 120 1-degree stops and special stops at the 22 ½-degree mark. This is especially surprising for a miter gauge that is fully half the price of similarly precise products. The components are laser cut providing further accuracy and precision and are made of steel for overall durability. Unfortunately, that overall durability does not translate in one specific way that can make the Incra MiterV120 a wasted purchase with little more than a bump.
Basically, the main issue with the Incra MiterV120 table saw miter gauge is that the stamped steel used for its construction is too soft. This is not necessarily that big of a deal when it comes to the general durability of the product, but a miter gauge’s teeth are a different matter. This issue is further compacted when the miter gauge teeth are incredibly small to accommodate a wealth of positive stops. For the Incra MiterV120, this creates a perfect storm where the bevy of gauge teeth combined with a soft, stamped steel material can lead to minor bumps ruining the accuracy of the gauge by bending the delicate teeth.
- Is a less expensive miter gauge
- Has 120 1-degree stops
- Has a universal mounting bracket
- Has AngleLOCK Indexing System
- Components are laser cut
- Is made of steel
- Pins are not the most durable
- Is not the most accurate
POWERTEC 71005 Deluxe Table Saw Miter Gauge – Also Consider
Powertec is by far the newest company on our list, and its position on our list shows it as this product also has the biggest issues. That said, you could argue the Powertec miter gauge supports the adage that you get what you pay for, but there is still some potential value for the most careful of craftsman. In fact, the Powertec miter gauge is actually the least expensive product that we reviewed with the next closest competitor almost twice as expensive. Still, because of its structural and functional limitations, this table saw miter gauge is probably best suited for a beginner who may not yet be looking to spend serious money on a high-end measurement tool and would not even be able to make full use of it for years to come anyway.
One of the better qualities of the Powertec 71005 is the fact that it is easier to use than some of the other miter gauges we reviewed. This begins with the fact that the Powertec table saw miter gauge has 11 positive stops with all of the most common miter angles covered. On top of that, this miter gauge features a large, oversized handle with a comfortable grip to prevent your hand from slipping while making minute adjustments. Finally, the Powertec also comes with a balancing washer to help steady workpieces that extend off of the table.
While the Powertec may be fairly easy to use, ensuring that it maintains its initial level of performance is no easy task. This miter gauge is made of aluminum which offers plenty of rust and corrosion resistance but is otherwise too structurally weak for the task. This leads to the teeth bending quite easily, even easier than others, which throws off the accuracy of the miter cuts. On top of that, the Powertec table saw miter gauge also uses cheaper nylon screws which have a tendency to strip well before securely fastening or adjusting one of the miter gauge’s components.
- Is the least expensive miter gauge reviewed
- Is easier to use
- Has 11 positive stops
- Has an ergonomic handle
- Has a balancing washer
- Is made of aluminum
- Is not the most durable
- Is not the most accurate
Best Table Saw Miter Gauge Buying Guide 2019
When it comes right down to it, this is the primary reason that you are purchasing a table saw miter gauge in the first place since you can often construct sleds for a given angle. Of course, this ‘solution’ becomes somewhat ridiculous when applied to more than a dozen degree options and is still cumbersome otherwise. That said, the most cumbersome and impractical solution is still better if it actually works. As such, a miter gauge’s accuracy is the most important thing to consider, though this can be approached from a couple of ways.
The first and most obvious interpretation is called out of the box accuracy and refers to how accurate the miter gauge before being used and is also what most manufacturers refer to when making claims about their product’s accuracy. The other way to look at accuracy is more a combination of accuracy and durability as weak teeth can quickly make a miter gauge inaccurate for a given degree stop. It is worth noting that you can usually work around a miter gauge by accounting for the inaccuracy in your measurement calculations that is generally inaccurate to a full degree but must have an inaccurate tooth reworked.
Outside of accuracy, though potentially in conjunction with it, materials are arguably the next most important consideration since they will often determine the durability of the miter gauge. It should be noted that though there are three primary materials used, numerous variations of those three materials are used as well–more than we can cover. These variations can alter the general properties of the materials to the point that it might behave more like a different material altogether, so do further research before purchasing.
Nylon – This is not a terribly common material used except for t-slot fasteners, though few manufacturers supply truly capable nylon screws. It is worth noting that the use of nylon screws is deliberate as you might need to be able to make incredibly precise micro-adjustments that require the give of nylon as opposed to a harder metal. That said, the adjustments usually occur at the mid-way point in the screw with the nylon tip already bunching up. As such, if your miter gauge uses nylon screws, make sure that they are steel-tipped–and if they are not, get some steel-tipped nylon screws and save yourself the trouble.
Aluminum – Aluminum is actually an incredibly useful metal to use for this purpose, though it depends on which alloy. That said, if the manufacturer uses a high-quality aluminum alloy, the material will be incredibly durable, nearly as strong as high-quality steel. On top of that, aluminum is naturally rust and corrosion resistant and can be anodized to increase this protection further. Even better, aluminum is also significantly lighter than steel which can make transporting in a tool bag that much nicer. The trouble often comes from the fact that many manufacturers are more than happy to inferior aluminum alloys in the construction of their miter gauge.
Steel – Though steel often has a bit of a mixed relationship in the power tool industry, at least the handheld market, due to its weight, this is not really much of an issue for most miter gauges which are inherently compact. Instead, steel is often one of the best materials to use for a miter gauge because those delicate teeth need to squeeze out every bit of durability they can. Of course, it should go without saying that there are a number of different steel alloys used in the manufacture of miter gauges as well. That said, the manufacturing process often has as much if not more impact on this aspect for steel teeth.
While technically the manufacturing processes are always important, they have a tendency to stand out a bit more for precision measurement tools. In fact, the difference between the manufacturing process used can often impact how well the miter gauge’s teeth hold up over time and under regular use. In this instance, there are two general manufacturing processes to look for: laser cut and stamped. As the name suggests, laser cut components are made out of a single die-cast metal that is then worked and laser cut to precision. The latter method involves stamping the teeth onto the protractor head which is much less expensive but also far less durable.
To be clear, the rest of the miter gauge will generally be machined in a traditional manner, though some brands still distinguish themselves by using more refined and sophisticated machining processes too. As one might expect, this leads to the other components often being more accurate, though this generally has less of an impact on the miter gauge’s functional accuracy.
While this would at first blush seem like one of the two most important qualities to consider, this really depends on your skill level. To be clear, the degree precision refers to how short of a step you can take in your measurements with the most precise options able to cut to within 1/100th of a degree. That said, few beginner woodworkers or professional contractors find themselves in a position where their project hinges on 1/100th of a degree.
As such, extremely high precision is generally reserved more for experienced users who are liable to work on projects that require that degree of precision. Generally, even most master craftsmen will use a dozen or so miter cut angles for 80 to 90-percent of their miter cuts anyway. However, a master craftsman cannot afford to be without a necessary tool to make any kind of a cut either.
Not all table saw miter guides include a bar or fence, and this should not be considered a sign of skill or necessity. That said, is a miter gauge comes with a fence, you are at least reasonably assured that the miter gauge will also be compatible with the fence. This is not a given in the miter gauge market and can lead to purchasing the wrong product if you are not careful and observant ahead of time. On top of that, most miter gauges that come with a fence or bar are themselves high-end models whose bar or fence similarly follows that same philosophy.
One thing to look for with the fence, outside of the same considerations you would apply to the teeth, is length. A big part of using a bar or fence to keep your workpiece lined up with the cut even if the workpiece extends off of the table. On top of that, you will want to make sure that the fence is compatible with the power saw you use, though this is generally less of an issue than the miter gauge’s t-slot.
What to use a miter gauge for
Unless you are a woodworker or an experienced contractor, chances are a tabletop miter gauge seems a bit intimidating at first glance. Unlike power tools whose function is usually fairly easy to figure out, whether or not the tool is complex, most people feel like they can get a handle on it relatively quickly. With miter gauges and other high-end, specialized measurement tools, the sheer volume of reading and options can turn less experienced users off. To be fair, unless you are a woodworker or experienced contractor, you do not actually need a miter gauge–so long as the tool in question has a solid range of onboard miter adjustments.
However, if you find yourself needing to make a miter cut at an angle other than the 2 or 3 most commonly used, you will need a measurement tool that is both accurate and precise–though, of the two, accuracy is generally more important. Regardless, a miter gauge can also be useful if you are using table extensions to cut larger workpieces but still need to make a miter cut. It is worth noting that some miter gauges include their own bar or fence, but that is more a feature of convenience rather than skill or necessity.
What to look for in a miter gauge
As we have mentioned previously, easily the most important quality to consider when choosing a miter gauge is the accuracy, since an inaccurate table saw miter gauge cannot usually be accounted for. On top of that, an inherently inaccurate miter gauge will produce skewed results no matter what you do, though there are a number of miter gauges that may be inaccurate once they get damaged–a term that can mean anything from dropping it to slightly bumping the table with the miter gauge attached. It is worth noting that if a miter gauge has a consistent inaccuracy, you can technically account for that in your calculations and still get the desired results–though this leaves you open to constantly make mental errors.
As such, after accuracy, the next most important quality to consider is not precision but the general and specific durability of the miter gauge. In fact, the specific durability of the miter gauge’s teeth is by far the second most important factor as this will often determine how accurate the miter guide remains over time. Cheap stamped steel and aluminum should be avoided in favor of cast molded teeth that can handle a bit more general use than stamped steel. After accuracy and durability comes the expected precision, though this feature is actually one which defines the skill of the user more than the product.
What level of miter gauge
As we have alluded to already, the sheer need for a table saw miter gauge is often an indication of the user’s skill set as inexperienced users rarely need to make miter cuts beyond what most power saws can already make. However, even within the ranks of skilled woodworkers, there is a sizable skill gap that is reflected in the tools they use. In this instance, a more experienced woodworker or specialized contractor is liable to appreciate a greater range of precision than beginner woodworkers who are unlikely to make a miter cut of 36-degrees–at least, not intentionally. Though this should not be taken to the other extreme, assuming that positive miter stops are a sign of inexperience.
Outside of the precision, one of the next qualities which separates a miter gauge designed for a skilled woodworker as opposed to one designed for a beginner is the versatility. Specifically, how many tools, attachments, and accessories is the miter saw either compatible with or able to be used alongside of. While most table saw miter gauges can be used on other tabled power saws within the lineup, some miter gauges go the extra mile by making sure that they are also compatible with that power saw’s accessories too.
As we can see, the table saw miter gauge market is not nearly evolved as some of the other products market adjacent. That said, the top of the top are definitely high-quality product through and through, though your wallet will definitely notice the difference. Regardless, the Incra Miter1000 table saw miter guide offers the best combination of accuracy, durability, and precision. The Kreg miter gauge is a bit less expensive and even offers the most precise measurements, but it can be a bit tricky to use those higher end functions. The Incra MiterV27 is a solid value for those just starting out, just make sure that you are especially careful as the teeth are known to bend quite easily.